Life With a Child With Cochlear Implants (VIDEO)

Mom Moment 12

Moms are awesome. Need proof? Meet Tanna. Her son, Hunter, has severe hearing loss and received cochlear implants to help him hear.

Dealing with the effects of Hunter's severe hearing loss has meant at least biweekly trips back and forth to Nashville from their home two hours away so he can get the therapy he needs. And she doesn't get to just sit in the waiting room and read a magazine...she's right there working with the therapist so she can help him at home as well. Check out what they're doing in this video, after the jump:

Tanna says she knew when she and Hunter's dad decided to get the cochlear implant for Hunter that it would be a big commitment requiring lots of therapy. The cochlear implant is basically a high-tech prosthesis for hearing similar to one that replaces an arm or a leg. It doesn't work exactly like an ear does so Hunter needs to be taught how to process information coming in through his ears.

The implant has allowed Hunter to do well in school, participate on a T-Ball team, and do all the things other children with normal hearing can do, including his twin sister, Hallie.

"You can't put into words how happy I am," Tanna says.

Do you know anyone with a cochlear implant?

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Image via CafeMomStudios.


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Angel... Angelanscalf89

my niece is deaf my sister chose not to go with the implant because she decided the risk wasnt worth it. My niece is a very happy healthy child and shes can do sign language just fine. Shes 2 and she was born deaf

nonmember avatar lee

An absolutely cruel and unnecessary procedure that has many controversial "success" rates. (Often the children paraded as success stories are coached more than those without the implant and there are many whom it doesn't work for, it only destroys whatever minor amount of hearing they may have had left.) Being deaf is not something to be ashamed of and people who are can live fine lives without missing anything. It's only us in the hearing world that perceive them to be lacking anything and needing a "cure". How about instead of intensive surgery on children, we listen to the deaf community about how to improve education and adjust our teaching methods away from manually coded concepts like Signed English or oral-only teaching? (Both of which do still happen.)

banan... banana-bear

News Flash: The bi-weekly trips for therapy would not occur if he was left in his natural state. Deaf kids can do anything hearing kids can do as well - except hear. Deaf people are successful and functional individuals. Her child is not hearing and will never be hearing. He is deaf and will always be deaf. It's highly unfortunate she chose this route for him and now he will have a lifetime of struggle because his natural language, culture and self-identity has been ripped away. But hey, at least she doesn't have to worry herself over learning that pesky sign language that her son would benefit from. So while he's learning to say simple words like "thirty" and "fork" and learning how to eat - other deaf children are conversing at higher levels, eating normally and have more time to focus on education. How shameful.

stlmo... stlmommytobe

I can't believe the ignorant comments on this post. My 9 mo old daughter was born deaf and her eyes light up everytime I put her hearing aids in. You shouldn't judge other mothers' difficult decisions. We all want the best for our children.

Heari... Hearingchick

I'm an audiologist that works with cochlear implants and they are amazing! I have the coolest job seeing kids born deaf light up hearing new sounds and learning to communicate with the world around them. He surgery itself is an outpatient procedure- it is not intensive and the risks are low. The benefits can be tremendous in overall language development, reading levels, future vocation, etc. Its true that it does take commitment from the parents. Thank you for sharing this story!

raven... ravenstears

My cousins were the first two people to recieve a cochlear implant, its amazing.

Jay Torres

My nephew was also born deaf and got an implant a few years ago because he wanted one, it was not forced on him by his parents. There's nothing wrong with being deaf but there's also nothing wrong with choosing to get an implant and I don't think parents should be vilified for it.

Waag Waag

I was born with Something that made me lose my hearing gradually they didn't catch it till I was 15 and everyone who says that being deaf isn't a big deal let me tell you my first expiernce with a hearing aid made me cry I put it on and I could hear my baby sisters they were 3 and 5 and they were setting there playing and I could hear there sweet voices that I couldnt hear before. I can hear my son singing and playing and I thank god I get to hear his beautiful voice. Think of how you would feel if you couldnt hear your own child say mommy or I love you. As many surgerys as I have had and as much pain as I have. Every Bit of it is worth it. I also feel very left out when I hang out with people when I don't have my hearing aid because people forget that I can't understand them if they aren't looking at me when they talk. It's a very lonely place. If you aren't deaf then you can't judge these people.

nonmember avatar Hally

I'm confused. If you could let your child hear again, why wouldn't you?

nonmember avatar Liz

I am appalled by some of the comments here. Deafness isn't a culture, it's a loss of hearing. When a child develops autism do we vilify the parents for doing everything in their power to help their child achieve his/her highest possible level of functioning? What about children born with cerebral palsy? Should we put them in a wheel chair and demand they never walk because they have cerebral palsy and will always have cerebral palsy? Modern medicine has given individuals the gift of hearing, and just because some people in the deaf community are against correcting the disability, does not mean everyone has to conform to that mentality.

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